Is there going to be a new bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists?
Yes. A new pedestrian and bicycle bridge will be constructed at Chicago Avenue to provide a safe and efficient crossing across I-494.
The I-494 vision will also improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities throughout the corridor. New facilities will meet American with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines to be accessible for all users.
What is going to happen at Nicollet Avenue, Portland avenue, and 12th Avenue?
Existing entrance and exit ramps at Lyndale Avenue, Nicollet Avenue, Portland Avenue, and 12th Avenue are too close, which causes traffic congestion and safety issues on I-494. To reduce congestion and improve safety on I-494, MnDOT will 1) close all I-494 access ramps at Nicollet Avenue and 12th Avenue, and 2) create a full-access interchange at Portland Avenue with two on-ramps and two off-ramps.
New bridges will be built at the three interchanges to accommodate future traffic levels. The new bridges will also include improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities to facilitate crossing the interstate.
To learn more about the changes to access at these roads, visit the virtual open house at: www.494openhouse.com/changestoaccess.
What is going to happen at the I-35W and I-484 interchange?
A new turbine interchange will be constructed in the northeast corner to allow traffic heading northbound I-35W to westbound I-494 to flow more efficiently.
To learn more about the improvements at the I-35W and I-494 interchange, visit the virtual open house at: www.494openhouse.com/35-494interchange.
Will there be additional lanes added along I-494?
yes. To best address current and future conditions for I-494, an E-ZPass lane (formerly known as MnPASS) will be constructed in each direction on I-494, from Highway 169 to Highway 77.
How is the project funded?
In 2018, Corridors of Commerce, a state road improvement grant program, awarded the project $134 million to introduce E-ZPASS lanes (formerly known as MnPASS) from EB France Avenue to Hwy 77 and from WB Hwy 77 to I-35W. An additional $70 million was awarded to construct a directional ramp for NB I-35W to WB I-494 traffic.
In 2021, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $60 million to aid in the construction of project 1 of the I-494 corridor vision implementation plan.
Do my comments and questions make a difference?
Yes. Public input is one of the criteria included in the design process of the I-494 vision. Public input allowed the design team to better understand community needs and identify key issues that should be addressed. Since the Fall of 2018, we talked with thousands of local and regional residents, businesses, and corridor users to guide the development of future improvements for the vision.
Conversations with the public continue to be critical in identifying goals and designing the future of I-494.
Where can I submit comments and questions? Can I sign up to receive updates?
To submit comments and questions about the project or specific improvement areas, visit the virtual open house at: www.494openhouse.com/comments.
The public can also email their comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up to receive email updates at the MnDOT project website at: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i404-airport-hsy169/index.html.